I participated in Ludum Dare 27

In case you don’t know about it, Ludum Dare is a game development competition where devs must create a game from scratch within 48 hours (for the competition) or 72 hours (for the Jam). Read more about it here: Ludum Dare 27. LD48, as it is known, started on August 23 at around 8 PM CST. I didn’t even know what it was until 9 PM. This dare’s theme was “10 seconds”. Different interpretations of the them could be used, but most obvious would be time based games that count you down somehow. I saw some pretty great interpretations like “The Duelists” and “Time Flies Straight“.

Not much Time

I didn’t start the first night, since I found out so late and Molebears Outbreak was released that night for IOS, so I was distracted. I did mull about what I would do the next day. I knew I didn’t have enough time and art skills to do anything too complicated. I also wanted to break out of the normal game play mechanics and teach a life lesson. My choices came down to:

  1. What would you say if you had 10 seconds left to live?
  2. When your heart stops, your brain dies after 10 seconds of no oxygen. Some people come back from these near death experiences seeing everything in the room.

I really wanted to do #2, but I would need to create 3D graphics of a guy floating, so I didn’t do that. I went with “Last Words”.  See it here 

Last Words

Story

You are about to go skydiving. You receive instructions from a coach on how to deploy your parachute (press the K button). After jumping, your chute does not open. You have the chance to send a text message to your loved ones before dying.

Game Play

There is not much game play per say. This is more of a minimal story driven game with the ability to type in a message at the end.

Theme: 10 seconds

When you click on the phone icon to type in a text message, you have 10 seconds to do so. Instead of being timed (you wouldn’t be able to write anything meaningful in 10 seconds), every button press you use takes up 0.1 seconds, allowing you 100 button presses. Backspace counts as a button press so players must think carefully. After dying, the player has the option to send a real life twitter message out.

Screenshots3

Twists

At the end screen, there is a fake statistic of the total number of players played, total who died, and total who survived. This is used to give a hint to more thoughtful players that there is a way to survive. There is a second life message I wanted to convey: Don’t be distracted, ie, Don’t text and skydive.

When the coach is giving you instructions, there is a moment where he goes quiet and your friend sends you a text. A phone icon appears and dances around, begging you to press it. The player is given a tutorial about the 10 second rule here, BUT, if the player doesn’t click on the icon and waits for 10 seconds, the coach will give the player instructions for the back up chute, which is hold the L, D, 4, and 8 keys down for 10 seconds. The player gets the good ending and can tweet out their survival also.

Screenshots6

Conclusion

The game is simple, but I’ve received pretty good words so far. It’s probably too short to complain much about, but I’m happy I made it in time at all, since I only got to spend maybe 4 – 5 hours on it (real life gets in the way). There is another dare in December. I probably still won’t get much time to work on it, but I’m going to be more ambitious.

Here’s some reviews

Gremlin says …
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:20am

Love the idea. The interface is a bit clunky (having to switch to the mouse to send the message is annoying).

Puzzlem00n says …
Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:58am

Nice twitter integration and “cinematics.” Very interesting. I wish I knew how to save myself!

BenWhi says …
Aug 26, 2013 @ 4:28pm

REALLY liked this one! What a cool idea!

jay griffin says …
Aug 27, 2013 @ 4:36am

Really enjoyed this one. I’ll save myself yet!

ENDESGA says …
Aug 27, 2013 @ 5:27am

Theory behind it is cool 🙂
Nice game 😀

-ENDESGA

ratalaika says …
Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:08am

Great work :), but I couldn’t figure out how to live D:

hypp says …
Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:58am

Excellent idea, and well executed!

Ysty says …
Aug 28, 2013 @ 11:26am

Great! Although I lived on my first go 😛

mrspeaker says …
Aug 28, 2013 @ 2:26pm

WAT? I loved the text message before dying idea… then I noticed that SOME PEOPLE LIVED?! What’s going on here then, hey?!

mutilator says …
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:42am

Its a cool idea, but I think there should be more too it than just typing a message before you die. The twitter thing was neat too. Good ideas.

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